Selective Pyroelectric Detection of Millimetre Waves Using Ultra-Thin Metasurface Absorbers.
ABSTRACT: Sensing infrared radiation is done inexpensively with pyroelectric detectors that generate a temporary voltage when they are heated by the incident infrared radiation. Unfortunately the performance of these detectors deteriorates for longer wavelengths, leaving the detection of, for instance, millimetre-wave radiation to expensive approaches. We propose here a simple and effective method to enhance pyroelectric detection of the millimetre-wave radiation by combining a compact commercial infrared pyro-sensor with a metasurface-enabled ultra-thin absorber, which provides spectrally- and polarization-discriminated response and is 136 times thinner than the operating wavelength. It is demonstrated that, due to the small thickness and therefore the thermal capacity of the absorber, the detector keeps the high response speed and sensitivity to millimetre waves as the original infrared pyro-sensor does against the regime of infrared detection. An in-depth electromagnetic analysis of the ultra-thin resonant absorbers along with their complex characterization by a BWO-spectroscopy technique is presented. Built upon this initial study, integrated metasurface absorber pyroelectric sensors are implemented and tested experimentally, showing high sensitivity and very fast response to millimetre-wave radiation. The proposed approach paves the way for creating highly-efficient inexpensive compact sensors for spectro-polarimetric applications in the millimetre-wave and terahertz bands.
Project description:We demonstrate a broadband, polarization independent, wide-angle absorber based on a metallic metasurface architecture, which accomplishes greater than 90% absorptance in the visible and near-infrared range of the solar spectrum, and exhibits low absorptivity (emissivity) at mid- and far-infrared wavelengths. The complex unit cell of the metasurface solar absorber consists of eight pairs of gold nano-resonators that are separated from a gold ground plane by a thin silicon dioxide spacer. Our experimental measurements reveal high-performance absorption over a wide range of incidence angles for both s- and p-polarizations. We also investigate numerically the frequency-dependent field and current distributions to elucidate how the absorption occurs within the metasurface structure.
Project description:Mn:0.15Pb(In<sub>1/2</sub>Nb<sub>1/2</sub>)O<sub>3</sub>-0.55Pb(Mg<sub>1/3</sub>Nb<sub>2/3</sub>)O<sub>3</sub>-0.30PbTiO<sub>3</sub> (Mn:PIMNT) pyroelectric chips were prepared by a two-step annealing method. For the two steps, annealing temperatures dependence of microstructure, defects, surface stress, surface roughness, dielectric properties and pyroelectric properties were studied comprehensively. The controlling factors influencing the pyroelectric properties of the Mn:PIMNT crystals were analyzed and the optimum annealing temperature ranges for the two steps were determined: 600-700 °C for the first step and 500-600 °C for the second step. The pyroelectric properties of the thin Mn:PIMNT chips were significantly enhanced by the two-step annealing method via tuning oxygen vacancies and eliminating surface stress. Based on Mn:PIMNT pyroelectric chips annealed at the most favorable conditions (annealed at 600 °C for the first step and 500 °C for the second step), infrared detectors were prepared with specific detectivity <i>D*</i> = 1.63 × 10<sup>9</sup> cmHz<sup>1/2</sup>W<sup>-1</sup>, nearly three times higher than in commercial LiTaO<sub>3</sub> detectors.
Project description:Merging photonic structures and optoelectronic sensors into a single chip may yield a sensor-on-chip spectroscopic device that can measure the spectrum of matter. In this work, an on-chip concurrent multiwavelength infrared (IR) sensor, which consists of a set of narrowband wavelength-selective plasmonic perfect absorbers combined with pyroelectric sensors, where the response of each pyroelectric sensor is boosted only at the resonance of the nanostructured absorber, is proposed and realized. The proposed absorber, which is based on Wood's anomaly absorption from a 2D plasmonic square lattice, shows a narrowband polarization-independent resonance (quality factor - <i>Q</i> of 73) with a nearly perfect absorptivity as high as 0.99 at normal incidence. The fabricated quad-wavelength IR sensors exhibit four different narrowband spectral responses at normal incidence following the predesigned resonances in the mid-wavelength infrared region that corresponds to the atmospheric window. The device can be applied for practical spectroscopic applications such as nondispersive IR sensors, IR chemical imaging devices, pyrometers, and spectroscopic thermography imaging.
Project description:Thermal detectors are a cornerstone of infrared and terahertz technology due to their broad spectral range. These detectors call for efficient absorbers with a broad spectral response and minimal thermal mass. A common approach is based on impedance-matching the sheet resistance of a thin metallic film to half the free-space impedance. Thereby, one can achieve a wavelength-independent absorptivity of up to 50%. However, existing absorber films typically require a thickness of the order of tens of nanometers, which can significantly deteriorate the response of a thermal transducer. Here, we present the application of ultrathin gold (2?nm) on top of a surfactant layer of oxidized copper as an effective infrared absorber. An almost wavelength-independent and long-time stable absorptivity of 47(3)%, ranging from 2 ?m to 20 ?m, can be obtained. The presented absorber allows for a significant improvement of infrared/terahertz technologies in general and thermal detectors in particular.
Project description:Many 2D few-layer materials show piezoelectric or pyroelectric effects due to the loss-of-inversion symmetry induced by broken structure, although they are not piezoelectric or pyroelectric in the bulk. In this work, we find that the puckered graphene-like 2D few-layer black phosphorene is pyroelectric and shows a pyro-catalytic effect, where the pyroelectric charges generated under ambient cold-hot alternation are utilized for hydrogen evolution and dye molecule decomposition. Under thermal cycling between 15?°C and 65?°C, the 2D few-layer black phosphorene shows a direct hydrogen generation of about 540??mol per gram of catalyst after 24 thermal cycles and about 99% decomposition of Rhodamine B dye after 5 thermal cycles. This work opens a door for the pyro-catalytic energy harvesting from the cold-hot alternations by a class of 2D few-layer materials.
Project description:Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) spectroscopy analyzes the concentration of target gases based on their characteristic infrared absorption. In conventional NDIR gas sensors, an infrared detector has to pair with a bandpass filter to select the target gas. However, multiplexed NDIR gas sensing requires multiple pairs of bandpass filters and detectors, which makes the sensor bulky and expensive. Here, we propose a multiplexed NDIR gas sensing platform consisting of a narrowband infrared detector array as read-out. By integrating plasmonic metamaterial absorbers with pyroelectric detectors at the pixel level, the detectors exhibit spectrally tunable and narrowband photoresponses, circumventing the need for separate bandpass filter arrays. We demonstrate the sensing of H<sub>2</sub>S, CH<sub>4</sub>, CO<sub>2</sub>, CO, NO, CH<sub>2</sub>O, NO<sub>2</sub>, SO<sub>2</sub>. The detection limits of common gases such as CH<sub>4</sub>, CO<sub>2</sub>, and CO are 63 ppm, 2 ppm, and 11 ppm, respectively. We also demonstrate the deduction of the concentrations of two target gases in a mixture.
Project description:High-performance uncooled millimetre and terahertz wave detectors are required as a building block for a wide range of applications. The state-of-the-art technologies, however, are plagued by low sensitivity, narrow spectral bandwidth, and complicated architecture. Here, we report semiconductor surface plasmon enhanced high-performance broadband millimetre and terahertz wave detectors which are based on nanogroove InSb array epitaxially grown on GaAs substrate for room temperature operation. By making a nanogroove array in the grown InSb layer, strong millimetre and terahertz wave surface plasmon polaritons can be generated at the InSb-air interfaces, which results in significant improvement in detecting performance. A noise equivalent power (NEP) of 2.2 × 10<sup>-14</sup> W Hz<sup>-1/2</sup> or a detectivity (D<sup>*</sup>) of 2.7 × 10<sup>12</sup> cm Hz<sup>1/2</sup> W<sup>-1</sup> at 1.75 mm (0.171 THz) is achieved at room temperature. By lowering the temperature to the thermoelectric cooling available 200 K, the corresponding NEP and D<sup>*</sup> of the nanogroove device can be improved to 3.8 × 10<sup>-15</sup> W Hz<sup>-1/2</sup> and 1.6 × 10<sup>13</sup> cm Hz<sup>1/2</sup> W<sup>-1</sup>, respectively. In addition, such a single device can perform broad spectral band detection from 0.9 mm (0.330 THz) to 9.4 mm (0.032 THz). Fast responses of 3.5 µs and 780 ns are achieved at room temperature and 200 K, respectively. Such high-performance millimetre and terahertz wave photodetectors are useful for wide applications such as high capacity communications, walk-through security, biological diagnosis, spectroscopy, and remote sensing. In addition, the integration of plasmonic semiconductor nanostructures paves a way for realizing high performance and multifunctional long-wavelength optoelectrical devices.
Project description:The pyro-phototronic effect has been utilized to modulate photoexcited carriers, to enhance the photocurrent in semiconducting nanomaterials. However, most of these materials have low pyroelectric performances. Using radially polarized ferroelectric BaTiO3 materials with a pyroelectric coefficient of about 16 nC/cm2K, we report a dramatic photocurrent enhancement due to ferro-pyro-phototronic effect. The fabricated device enables a fast sensing of 365-nm light illumination with a response time of 0.5 s at the rising edge, where the output current-time curve displays a sharp peak followed by a stable plateau. By applying a heating temperature variation, the output current peak can be enhanced by more than 30 times under a light intensity of 0.6 mW/cm2. Moreover, the stable current plateau can be enhanced by 23% after utilizing a cooling temperature variation, which can be well explained by ferro-pyro-phototronic-effect-induced energy band bending.
Project description:Optical modulators can have high modulation speed and broad bandwidth, while being compact. However, these optical modulators usually work for low-intensity light beams. Here we present an ultrafast, plasma-based optical modulator, which can directly modulate high-power lasers with intensity up to 10(16)?W?cm(-2) to produce an extremely broad spectrum with a fractional bandwidth over 100%, extending to the mid-infrared regime in the low-frequency side. This concept relies on two co-propagating laser pulses in a sub-millimetre-scale underdense plasma, where a drive laser pulse first excites an electron plasma wave in its wake while a following carrier laser pulse is modulated by the plasma wave. The laser and plasma parameters suitable for the modulator to work are based on numerical simulations.
Project description:There is a growing number of applications demanding highly sensitive photodetectors in the mid-infrared. Thermal photodetectors, such as bolometers, have emerged as the technology of choice, because they do not need cooling. The performance of a bolometer is linked to its temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR, ?2-4%?K<sup>-1</sup> for state-of-the-art materials). Graphene is ideally suited for optoelectronic applications, with a variety of reported photodetectors ranging from visible to THz frequencies. For the mid-infrared, graphene-based detectors with TCRs ?4-11%?K<sup>-1</sup> have been demonstrated. Here we present an uncooled, mid-infrared photodetector, where the pyroelectric response of a LiNbO<sub>3</sub> crystal is transduced with high gain (up to 200) into resistivity modulation for graphene. This is achieved by fabricating a floating metallic structure that concentrates the pyroelectric charge on the top-gate capacitor of the graphene channel, leading to TCRs up to 900%?K<sup>-1</sup>, and the ability to resolve temperature variations down to 15??K.